One of the things I (Erin) love to do is practice hula. The graceful movements, haunting chants, and beautiful language and music can be very moving to behold, let alone take part in. Sometimes, when I exit the building we practice in, it is raining softly and there are pink plumeria blossoms sticking to the hood of my car. I drive home as the sun is setting and I cannot believe how fortunate I am. I’ve just spent an hour dancing dances that are so beautiful they make me want to cry; singing about nature, about winds and mists and flowers and the ocean and love, telling stories with our fingers and hands and feet. Although I am a novice, I can feel clearly that this is a view into the Hawaiian language, into Hawaiian history, a connection to the people and the place.
One of the best opportunities to watch hula is at the Merrie Monarch festival (http://www.merriemonarchfestival.org/index.html) held each year in March/April in